A Tale of Two Cities Volume II, Chapter Thirteen – The Fellow of No Delicacy
Advertisement - Guide continues below
Volume II, Chapter Thirteen – The Fellow of No Delicacy
- Sydney Carton’s not exactly a man with a lot of charm. Any charm he does have, however, he never displays when he goes to visit the Manettes.
- Today, for some reason, his feet seem to find their way to the Manettes’ house of their own accord.
- He finds Lucie there alone.
- When she sees him, she immediately notices that he’s even less well than he usually is.
- That’s not saying much.
- She asks Carton what's wrong.
- He responds that his life is miserable and hopeless.
- She asks why he can’t change.
- We know, we know—it’s a useless question. Someone had to ask it, though.
- Carton doesn’t answer directly. Instead, he begins one of the strangest love scenes in all of Dickens’ novels.
- We’re not even really sure that it’s a love scene.
- See, Carton knows that Lucie couldn’t love a man like him.
- In fact, that’s exactly what he tells her.
- Dismayed, Lucie doesn’t know what to say.
- Sure, she feels badly for Carton. She even cares about him. But the saddest thing in this whole deal is that he’s right—and they both know it.
- True to her good-natured self, though, Lucie asks if there’s anything that she can do to help him without promising to love him.
- Carton says that if anyone could have reformed him, she could have.
- It looks like he’s past saving, then.
- Just like he thought he was.
- Apparently, Carton just dropped by to unburden himself…sort of like a very, very painful self-help session.
- Distraught, Lucie asks again if there’s no way that she could be a force for good in his life.
- Carton seems to have moved past this, however.
- He begs her to keep this conversation confidential; it’s the last time he’ll ever confide in anyone, and he’d like to remember that it ended well.
- Seeing that Lucie seems upset, he entreats her not to be troubled by his sorrows.
- More than anything, he wants her to be happy.
- In fact, he’s so committed to her happiness that he begs her to remember (once she gets married) that he would give his own life to keep those that she loves safe.
- Bidding Lucie farewell, Carton rushes out the door.